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Pastor’s Bio

Pastor Doug Carlson became Grace Church’s pastor in April, 2002, after pastoring a church in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area for thirteen years. He graduated from Grand Rapids School of the Bible in 1979, and has degrees from Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids) and Moody Graduate School (Chicago). Married (to Judy), the couple has five grown children (and six grandchildren) who all live in the area. Pastor Doug has a heart for discipleship, and has led the church in embracing the mission statement, “Disciples making Disciples.”

The statement (and Pastor’s passion) is based on biblical passages like Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Timothy 2:2, and on more than thirty-six years of experience in pastoral ministry. Carlson also has a heart for the city, and believes God has led him and his family to the Zion-Benton area so that they can be a part of the transformation that Zion needs, and God provides as individuals are brought to faith in Christ, are disciple, and are then released into the larger community where they can make a real, lasting difference where they live, work and raise their children.

As Pastor Doug is fond of saying, “The Church does not exist for the sake of the Church; the Church exists for the sake of the world.” This “outward focus” informs everything we do as a local body of believers and enables us to both declare unapologetically the truth of holy Scripture, while also demonstrating with compassion the love of Christ for all. We invite you to visit us some Sunday morning! We see every worship service as a “Family Reunion,” where folks who are at any place in their spiritual journey feel comfortable sharing with and learning from others on the same path, without judgment or harshness.

The door’s open, and we’re saving a spot for you at the table!